We're working on a fresh update to our website, and we can hardly wait to share it with you! It will have many new features, including:
- two brand new projects with stunning photographs by Mariko Reed
- easy navigation, including the ability to sort images by use and room type
- a user-friendly site design that can also be viewed on mobile devices
Kristin Beadle of Beadle Design and Paul Irving of Insite Web Publishing are our amazing collaborators in this endeavor. In addition to working magic on our website, their recent online collaborations include redesign of NanaWall with Tolleson, and redesign of Impact Magazine by OfficeMax Workplace Interiors with Bader Rutter. They are in the final months of a two-year project to create Columbia Gorge Community College's online campus. We are so excited to be working these amazing professionals, who bring so much talent and expertise to the project. Thanks to them, our new website will be more aligned with our design philosophy and aesthetic. So exciting!
We wouldn’t be where we are today without Bill: structural engineer, collaborator, supporter, and friend.
We have been working with Bill Harrison of Sarah Leong Consulting Engineers since we started our practice in 2003. In fact, Hiromi has done projects with him since her days at Sutton Suzuki Architects, so they have known each other for almost 15 years!
And there is a reason we still work together after all these years. Bill is intelligent, prompt, and thorough in his engineering services. But what really distinguishes him is his creativity, and ability to understand our design intent. Instead of applying prescriptive structural solutions, Bill will work with us to find options that best fit the design.
The best collaborations are the ones where our collective ideas make the project better than we imagined, and Bill does just that. Thank you, Bill!
Last week, Lynn and I were honored by the Girl Scouts of Northern California as 2 of the top 100 women who have "made a significant impact to sustaining the environment, economy, or community". We attended a beautiful reception at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, where we were amongst a dense crowd of very interesting men and women. Best of all, the Space Cookies (a Girl Scouts robotics team) were demonstrating their basketball hoop-shooting robots, and helped answer some of my burning questions about robotics opportunities for children. Awesome!
As to why we think we won this award.... we have very detailed green standards, both for our clients' projects and within our office. Integrating low-cost and no-cost sustainability measures has been a standard practice in our office for several years, so we don't feel like it's really something we need to brag about. But apparently, helping our clients navigate through their myriad of sustainable cost-value decisions, while still maintaining a standard of beauty and utility, is something this 100-year old organization wanted to celebrate. We are so honored and humbled by this recognition, and we are inspired to keep serving our clients and the community with our integrated and holistic approach.
Thank you Girl Scouts!
Click on this link to see a sneak peek of Lynn's house, as well as some other projects in the works!
On Wednesday 4/11/12, Hiromi and Joann Le of DAO Architecture will be giving a talk at an event hosted by The Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon and SW Washington. The topic will be:
What Does It Mean to Be An Emerging, Minority, and Woman-Owned Business? - From the Perspectives of Two Asian Female Architects Practicing in the Pacific Northwest.
More information on the event can be found through this link. We hope to see you there!
Last week, we had the Novak Residence photographed by the very talented Lincoln Barbour. "Photo shoot" sounds glamorous and fun, and it is to a certain extent, but it's also hard work for everyone involved. For starters, I arrived at the site at 8am, to go over the shots with the owner, talk to them about what props we brought, and how the rooms might be rearranged (but put back to its original condition after the shoot). The owners had done a marvelous job tidying up the rooms, and since they are both artists and collectors, styling for this shoot was going to be minimal. Still, there are things that we usually don't notice, that might be captured in a photo. So for every shoot, I go through each room carefully, straightening, moving, or removing things as I go. Then I clean all the surfaces, including counters, cabinet doors, windows, doors, to make sure there are no spots. I start bringing the props back into the room, and that is usually around when the photographer and his assistant arrive. (And I should note that Lynn and I usually work on these shoots together, but I just happened to do this one on my own.)
This is my first time working with Lincoln. I had seen his work on Portland Spaces magazine and fell in love with the composition and quality of light. I thought, someday I will work with him. So it was nice to finally meet, and find out that we were a good fit. He and his assistant Justin were very friendly, and very efficient. As soon as they arrived, they started setting up and got to work.
For every shot, we were able to review the angle, lighting, props, colors, etc. through his laptop. Here, he's reviewing the shot before he lets me take a look.
Lincoln used reflectors in many of the shots, to get light where he wanted it. The interior of a house can look dark, particularly when it's sunny outside. I wanted to take more photos of "behind the scenes", but I was constantly running around, reviewing the current shot with Lincoln, preparing for the next shot, and scrolling through my phone in between to check on other projects. It's literally non-stop, but since I thrive on that kind of high energy, I loved every moment of it.
So after every shoot, the photographers pack up and leave, and I start moving everything back to its original location, and make sure everything is back in order. Then if I have some time left at the end, I take some photos of my own, particularly of things we didn't capture in the formal photo shoot.
Here is a view of the kitchen from the interior, as you look out to the back yard. You can see the rich color of the wood pantry wall against the cooler textures of the quartz countertop and the rubber flooring, which I thought was nice. (But boy, I could have used some reflectors in this shot, huh?)
The original window above the sink had a sill and apron, but in the design we proposed that we remove them and make a new sill that acts as a task light and a termination point for the tile backsplash. So here is a shot of that transition.
The sill extends all the way across the kitchen, and here you see the other end. The owners have this magnificent wood figure, which you'll see in many of Lincoln's shots. I just liked him so much, both as a piece and also as a vertical composition in the photo.
As I check to make sure we haven't left anything behind, I leave the owners a little gift and a note thanking them for letting us use their house.
In summary, we got some beautiful shots of a nice project for lovely clients, and I had a great time working with Lincoln. Thanks again to everyone who was involved! And I look forward to sharing photos from the shoot in our next post.
Our "new" business name is now emblazoned on our Portland office window.
We share our space with other creative officemates, all of whom are fun to be around.
I can't tell fortunes but I can serve up some tea. Stop by when you're in the neighborhood - we share the building with Olympic Provisions, too.
Our latest news: Hiromi Ogawa Architects will now be Ogawa Fisher Architects. The change reflects the commitment of our two equal partners, Hiromi Ogawa and Lynn Fisher. We will still bring you the same, high level of client services and customized design to every project.
Lynn Fisher started working at Hiromi Ogawa Architects in 2006. She became a partner in 2008. Her dedication to each project and wide range of design expertise has steadily gained a loyal following of clients. We are very excited to have our new name represent her tremendous contribution to the company.
We'd like your help with a few changes pertaining to this new name:
- Our website will now be under www.ogawafisher.com. Please reset your bookmarks.
- Our blog site will now be under http://ogawafisher.wordpress.com. Please reset your bookmarks and/or blog subscriptions.
- Our email addresses will change to @ogawafisher.com, with the first part of our address remaining the same. Please make this change in your address books.
- Our Facebook page will now change to ogawa fisher architects. Please "like" us at our new page so we can keep you up to date.
We look forward to staying in touch with you.